International Criminal Court: Six recommendations to the 21st Assembly of States Parties

OSeveno via Wikicommons CC BY-SA 4.0

The Hague, Paris, 23 November 2022 – The 21st Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be held in-person in The Hague from 5-10 December 2022. The 20 years old Court is facing increasing challenges from all sides. Ahead of its active participation in this ASP, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) publishes its position paper with six key recommendations to States Parties.

Set to participate in the ASP with an international delegation, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) will focus on advocating for:
- ensuring the centrality of victims and survivors in ICC proceedings;
- an improved engagement with and protection of civil society;
- effective complementarity and cooperation with the ICC,
- adequate funding of the Court’s work,
- a careful assessment and implementation of the International Experts’ recommendations to improve the Court’s performance,
- and ICC election processes that are underlined by diversity and integrity.

Avoiding double standards is essential for the ICC’s legitimacy

"The ICC faces many external and internal challenges that endanger its credibility and legitimacy. It is crucial that States support the Court’s work in all international crimes situations, without double standards, and ensure that the Court strengthens its outreach to and impact on victims and affected communities."

Guissou Jahangiri, FIDH Vice President, Executive Director of OPEN ASIA / Armanshahr, heading the FIDH delegation to this year’s ASP

"The Court should explicitly aim at guaranteeing victims’ right to information and develop robust communication and effective outreach strategies enabling victims’ participation throughout proceedings", she added.

"States Parties must ensure long-term financial support for the Court and for all situations of international crimes by contributing to its general, unrestricted budget, rather than allocating funds for specific chosen situations or specific ICC organs."

Delphine Carlens, Head of FIDH’s International Justice Desk

This year’s ASP session will see general debates on matters such as cooperation, the activities of the Court and the Trust Fund for Victims, recommendations concerning the election of the Registrar, and budgetary allocations. While actively advocating with States and intervening during plenary sessions, FIDH will also organise, co-sponsor, and participate in a series of side events. These will focus on the crucial issues of victims’ rights, complementarity, human rights defenders at risk for their accountability work, accountability for sexual and gender-based violence, and on specific situations including Venezuela, the Central African Republic and Ukraine.

FIDH, in partnership with other leading NGOs, is co-hosting four side-events this year:

- (1) What will it take to make victims’ rights meaningful at the ICC? A frank discussion on the way forward
Tuesday, 6 December 2022 | 08:30 – 10:00 | Room Africa
Co-hosted by Ireland, FIDH, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) and REDRESS

- (2) A sustainable model for responding to conflict-related sexual violence in Ukraine – Presenting the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s conflict-related sexual violence strategy and discussing its transformative potential to enhance access to justice
Wednesday, 7 December 2022 | 13:15 – 14:45 | Room Europe 1&2
Co-hosted by Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom, FIDH, Global Rights Compliance and Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ)

- (3) Countering the Global Crackdown on Human Rights Defenders and Civil Society: What Role for the ICC and States Parties?
Wednesday, 7 December 2022 | 13:15 – 14:45 | Room Antarctica
Co-hosted by Finland, Ireland, Sweden, Al-Haq, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), Open Society Foundations (OSF), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW), FIDH, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), and WIGJ

- (4) Justice in Venezuela: moving forward at the ICC and beyond
Thursday, 8 December 2022 | 13:15 – 15:00 | Room Africa
Co-hosted by FIDH, Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), and RFK Human Rights

Read FIDH full position paper here and below:

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